According to documents obtained from the City of Carrollton last week the Carrollton Police Department had conducted two internal investigations over the last six years into allegations that former officer Jerric Gilbert had inappropriate communications with teenage girls.
Neither of those allegations involved inappropriate physical contact and internal investigations determined the complaints were unfounded.
The 35-year old former school resource officer was arrested Friday, April 22, 2022 following a GBI investigation into an allegation of criminal misconduct by Carrollton City Schools where Gilbert was assigned as a School Resource Officer at Carrollton Elementary School. Gilbert was fired from his job prior to the arrest.
Following the arrest, WLBB Radio filed an open records request with the City of Carrollton, asking for any documents showing any previous accusations of any kind made against Gilbert that would suggest action unbecoming of an officer; in particular, any info regarding internal investigations, findings, and penalties given.
According to documents delivered by Carrollton City Human Resources Director, Faith A. Pullen:
A formal complaint was filed on April 15, 2016 on Officer Jerric Gilbert by the parent of a 17-year old girl, who felt that the Gilbert’s communication with her daughter was not appropriate due to her daughter being in high school and the age difference between her and officer Gilbert. She said that she felt this is not what an officer should be doing.
An internal investigation was conducted, which included interviews with the mother, the daughter and Officer Gilbert. “Based on the facts that were discovered in that investigation” the investigating Captain stated he believed the complaint is not in violation with Georgia Law or the policy of the Carrollton Police Department and is “unfounded”.
According to internal investigation documents the mother told the investigator that her daughter told her that an officer from the police department had been contacting her on her phone and wanted a photo of her. She said that she did not know how Officer Gilbert got her daughter’s phone number—and stated her daughter was concerned the communication could be connected to the daughter’s recent arrest for DUI.
The teen told the investigating officer that she started receiving messages from a phone number that she did not know who it belonged. She said that the first message was received around 10:00pm and was blank with nothing on it. She said that she responded the next morning, “Who is this?”
The texting record shows that Gilbert knew the girl’s name and told her that he obtained her phone number from “someone who knows you,” when she asked.
Further in the text, Gilbert tells the teen “I assure you this isn’t a set up (referring to her concerns over her recent arrest). I hope you can trust me and I’ll save your number. Feel free to save mine also!”
The two texted back and forth over seemingly multiple days.
The final text communication shared with investigators was from Gilbert. He texted: “Hey, can I have a pic for your contact?” She did not respond.
During the internal investigation, Gilbert told the investigator that he knew the girl when she had attended the Boys and Girls Club a few years ago and that he “keeps in touch with several kids that he has helped over the years both boys and girls.”
He said he was working an accident when he saw the girl pass by. He said that he thought that she should be graduating this year and he asked a family member attending Carrollton High if he would share her number with him, because he wanted to check in on her. Gilbert said he had no ill intentions and did not mean for it to be inappropriate. He said he talked to her about when she would graduate and if she needed a job. The texts show that he told her about a place he believed was hiring.
A second internal investigation into allegations against Gilbert was made in January of 2020 by the mother of a teen girl who said the officer was acting inappropriately around her daughter. All parties involved were interviewed. Following the investigation, the investigating Captain determined the complaint to be “unfounded.”
During that investigation, the teen’s mother stated she knew Officer Gilbert from dealing with him at the elementary school. She said he had helped her previously when her 5-year old child was left on the school bus. After that, the mother said she had Officer Gilbert’s phone number and would occasionally talk or text him about issues at school or ask him how his day was. She told the investigator that she considered Gilbert a good friend at one time and that he was friendly with her and her kids, until the beginning of the current school year when she claimed that she noticed he was not as friendly to her as he used to be.
The mother stated that during a local high school basketball game, Officer Gilbert followed her daughter to the parking lot, where she was waiting to pick her up. She said Gilbert asked if the teen could stay to the end of the game. He said that he would bring her home. The mother said she agreed.
Several days later, after another basketball game, the teen daughter and her boyfriend allegedly told her mother that “Gilbert was always where the (teen girl) was,” “stares at her” and that “Gilbert creeps her out.”
Days later, the girl’s mother said she spoke with the mother who had filed a similar complaint in 2016. She said that is when she “made the decision to come to the police department and tell someone what was going on.”
During the internal investigation, the daughter told the investigator she had known Gilbert for at least 5 years. Dating back to when she would see him working at a local skating rink.
She told the investigator that one time at a basketball game Gilbert purchased food for her and shared the story of Gilbert telling her mom he could take her home after a basketball game ended. She said that she did not want to go home and wanted to stay and watch the end of the game. She said as she was exiting the gym she saw Gilbert standing at the door. She said that she was upset and Gilbert asked her what was wrong. She said that she told him that she wanted to stay. She said after the game was over that he gave her a ride home. She said that she sat in the back seat of the patrol car. She said that she does not remember talking to him and that she was probably on her phone the whole time.
The teen said Gilbert approached her several times during basketball games. She said he never tried to touch her but that they give side hugs. She said that he has never tried to call or contact her; but, she did make reference to someone trying to contact her on Instagram and wanted photos of her. She said that the unknown person also sent her snapshots of the location of her house and demanded photos.
During Gilbert’s interview with the investigating Captain, Gilbert recalled the basketball game in which he drove the teen home afterwards. He said she sat in the back seat and he called in to dispatch what he was doing. He said that he believed the girl did not talk the whole time. He said when he got close to her house he had to ask her which house was hers, before dropping her off.
A little more than one week ago, Gilbert was charged with one count of Child Molestation and one count of Violation of Oath by Public Officer after a GBI investigation revealed that on Friday, April 15, 2022, Gilbert encouraged an 11-year-old girl to touch him inappropriately while at his home.
A Judge in Carroll County set a bond of $75,000 for Gilbert, which was posted and he was released from the Carroll County Jail.
Gilbert is ordered to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18, including any children he may have.
Carrollton-based defense attorney Jason Swindle is representing Gilbert. Swindle told WLBB Radio “Officer Gilbert is a fine man, citizen, and law enforcement officer. He is presumed to be innocent under both the U.S. Constitution and the Georgia Constitution. We are in the process of conducting an independent investigation into these unproven accusations.”